Classic Repost: The Good Ol' Days - Cereal

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A tribute to the good ol' days - which in my life was the 1970's...

I don't believe there were really 2 scoops of raisins in every box of Raisin Bran? But, as a kid growing up in the 70's , I believed that Kelloggs hired some employee to sit on an assembly line and pour exactly 2 scoops of raisins into each box. 

One of my favorite childhood cereals was "Fruity Pebbles." Multi-colored fruity flavored rice krispies and loaded with sugar - what's not to like about those? There is an interesting point to be made here - the whole concept of the "pebble" cereal they were trying to push. You can actually eat real tiny pebbles in the form of "Grape Nuts." Honestly...this stuff could easily have been marketed as "Gravel Nuts" since the inclusion of the word grape is totally confusing to little kids thinking they are going to get grape flavored purple cereal. And nothing tops off grape nuts better than little chunks of hay (aka Shredded wheat). Blech! Who eats this stuff?

I am really supportive of truth in adverstising. That's why I was frustrated with the Grape Nuts name and probably why I really liked "Sugar Smacks." You knew exactly what you were getting here - no hiding behind fancy names like "Apple Jacks" or "Fruit Loops." Right off the bat you knew the prime ingrediant was going to be sugar and it was going to be lip-smackin' good - plain and simple. (Note: This cereal has since been changed to Honey Smacks....yeah right). My runner-up in truthful name branding is "Cookie Crisp". Again, no question about what you're eating here....but, why not just recommend a bowl of Oreos in milk? Yes, I know they have a version of Oreo cereal, but that is not what I am recommending. I  mean the real oreos). The more I think about it, with any of these you could save the time and just have a bowl of sugar and milk.

"Cocoa Puffs" was/is also a really cool cereal. If you remember, when you were done you got chocolate milk. That was great - sugar cereal followed by a sugary chocolate drink. Brilliant cereal wizards at that factory!

Then there were "Alpha Bits. " The basic idea here was the opportunity to teach your kids how to spell at the breakfast table (yeah, that's what I like to do when I'm eating cereal). Why not teach your kids Latin with "Latin-Bits", or an entire math lesson with "Algebra-Bits"?  if you think about it, this is the type of cereal that homeschooling mothers would develop if they were given a chance to make cereal.

It goes without mention that I loved "Trix." But what was with the slogan? "Trix are for Kids!"  Right. Like we needed reminding that a multi-colored cereal being marketed by a cartoon rabbit was for kids. My all time favorite to this day is"Cap'n Crunch." Believe me when I say that it is good, but with the additions of Crunch Berries or peanut butter, it gets better. I'm not sure they really needed the abbreviation? Personally,I liked to mix it with Alpha Bits so i could learn to spell "captain" properly.

I have some ideas for new cereals : "Political Chex" (this comes in multiple flavors - but none of them really taste good, "Microsoft Flakes" (stale cereal that everyone eats, but wishes they could have MacFlakes instead), "Colorado Shredded Weed" (the cereal that keeps you hungry for more), "Special H" (strikingly similar to "Preparation H" so it will keep people wondering), and my personal favorite "Soggy Brown Rings" (dont' forget, I like truthful advertising).

Quietly making noise,
Fletch

***Originally posted March 24th, 2006. This blog post needed some updating.

The Good Ol' Days - Shasta Cola

This may strictly be a West-Coast phenomenon, but when it came to drinking soda pop, Shasta Soda was at the top of the heap back in the 1970's.  In our home, this was a staple beverage for every summertime gathering.  It must have been because it was so cheap, but we drank this stuff like water.

My personal favorite was Shasta Cream soda, but close runners up include Shasta Black Cherry and Shasta Strawberry.  I don't think I attended a pool party back in the 70's that didn't include a couple cases of Shasta soda floating on ice.  And the best part was the pull tab that we used as mock wedding rings and necklaces (by the way, this worked it's way into a "parental myth" because my folks would tell us not to put the tab into the can for fear that we'd swallow it and "rip open our stomachs" like that kid from Iowa did).

Quietly making noise,
Fletch

The Good Ol' Days - Station Wagons!

As always, my comments directly depend on your point of reference.  The older generation thinks that minivans and SUVs are a ridiculous waste of space, and my generation thinks that station wagons went out with the 80's.  Personally, I miss our old station wagon. Primarily, because it was the exact same stationwagon that "The Brady Bunch" had, complete with blue/green trim and faux wood paneling.  It had the cool flop down door in the back and chairs that opened up out of the cargo bay.

One of the things that made these cars so fun was the lack of "seat-belt" litigation back in the 70's. I can remember being in the back of the wagon and needing something out of the glove box.  "No need to stop driving mom!  I'll just crawl and flop my way to the front seat" (even if the back seat had occupants).  Speaking of seatbelts, ours were always kept tucked away under the seats in perfect pristine condition, in case we had to sell the car later."

And what was more convenient than the plush bench seat they provided in the front of the car?  Or the luggage rack that was actually used for luggage?

I will make one positive reference for the modern day SUV.  It doesn't have a backseat hump...  If there were more than two kids in your family, you know exactly what I am talking about.  You will remember that mountainous hump of metal on the floor where you put your feet.  This housed the transmission, but also separated the back seat into right and left.  Inevitably there was a disagreement about "the hump" and who had to sit in the middle putting one foot into each side.

Our station wagon had one other feature that I find absent in today's automobiles.  We had ash trays and cigarette burners at every seat (yeah...that was safe).  Even as a child I thought it odd that I was given the ability to make fire in the back of the car.  We were constantly doing science/burn projects in the back seat.  My dad is barreling down the road and I was in the back seat burning sunflower seeds and pop rocks.

Quietly making noise,
Fletch

The Good Ol' Days - Cartoons

I spent my elementary school years in the 1970's.  From a kids point of view, it was a fantastic decade to grow up.  From television to movies to candy, it had all the makings to form life long memories.  I've blogged a lot about candy already - and it got me to thinking, "Hey I should blog about the 70's, I'm sure there are others that feel the same as I do about the greatest decade for pop-culture."

Cartoons

What better time to grow up?  Let's see, we had the modern stone-age family.  Scooby and the gang cruisin' in the Mystery Machine (did you notice how Fred/Daphne always checked out the upstairs while Velma, Shag and Scoob always checked out the creepy attic or the basement - quincidence? I don't think so).  Shaggy was the ultimate hippie and user (always having the munchies?).

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The Looney Tunes Gang - I loved the coyote, which reminds me of a visit to Berkeley, Ca. when I saw the "ACME bread company."  I stopped in to see what type of bread they baked (I half expected a loaf of sourdough with a stick of  TNT or magnetic poppyseeds...).

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How about the Superheroes at the Hall of Justice?  Remind me again how having an invisible plane is to your advantage?  And when will you ever need all the creatures of the sea to help with a world dilemma?

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Yogi, BooBoo and Ranger Smith had yet to "come out of the closet" (Cindy Bear was a ploy at best...).  Speaking of potentially "soft" cartoon characters...Snagglepuss - he was pink, overly theatrical and dramatic, and wore those french cuff links.  All the stereotypes wrapped into one character.

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Obviously there are many more (you can add them in your comments below).  But do you remember the coolest of the cool?  The one cartoon character that was hip and happening?  That's right...The Pink Panther.  He was always one step ahead of the big-nosed guy and he always had the cool jazz riff going in the background...now that cat was cool!

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Quietly making noise,

Fletch